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    Tesco’s Fresh & Easy to Test Loyalty Card

    If successful, the ‘Friends of Fresh & Easy’ program could roll out across the chain by the end of February.

    LONDON -- U.K.-based Tesco will test a version of its Clubcard loyalty program in seven central California Fresh & Easy stores this fall, according to a Financial Times report. The British supermarket group owns the U.S. Fresh & Easy chain, which currently operates 176 stores.

    The card will be called "Friends of Fresh & Easy" and could be in use across the chain by the end of February if it is successful, said Fresh & Easy President and CEO Tim Mason. Fresh & Easy plans to have 214 stores in business by the end of February 2012.

    "Clubcard has always been, from the very first day we launched it, the icing on the cake, not the cake itself, and so, therefore, you have to have an established business that is delivering every day for customers before introducing it,” Mason said of the timing.

    Customers will receive a point for every dollar they spend on Fresh & Easy purchases using the card, according to the report. Accumulated points will convert to digital vouchers. The card is based on the opt-in Friends of Fresh & Easy program, through which customers can sign up to receive special offers and information through e-mail.

    If successful, the card could be a boon to Fresh & Easy, which saw a higher-than-expected $299 million in losses during the fiscal year that ended this February, according to a Reuters report. New Tesco CEO Philip Clarke has promised to significantly reduce losses this year and stated that Fresh & Easy will break even around the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

    Tesco's Clubcard has been extremely successful for the company, attracting more than 30 million members in 12 countries, according to Reuters.

     

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